We arrived in Canada just after lunch on the 21st August having replaced Bridget’s fuel pump. She was still misfiring at low revs and over 4,000 rpm, but otherwise was running OK. I still believed the carburettors were not balanced.

We had been invited to stay with Peter and Anne Tilbury from the Canadian Classic MG Car Club and their home is only three miles from the USA border. Peter came down the drive to greet us and guide Bridget into a waiting garage. After the introductions we were joined by Rod Taylor- Gregg and set about trying to resolve Bridget’s misfire.

Rod examined the jets, needles and seats in the carburettors and noted that the seat of the rear ‘carb’ was somewhat higher than that of the front one. This meant that the starting position for the mixture control would different, something that you would not be aware of if you just tried to balance them without first looking inside. After setting them up and tuning the mixture and idling adjusters he and Peter soon had Bridget’s engine running far smoother with only a slight hesitation between 2000 and 2500 revolutions. She would be alright for Sunday’s slalom!

The club, jointly with the Canadian XK Jaguar Register, have a slalom event arranged for Sunday and Bridget and I have been entered!

We duly presented ourselves to the scrutineers to be inspected and then were introduced to the other members and competitors. Bridget and I had never done one of these events before and were somewhat nervous, but the others made us feel at home. I had been promised that there would be no other Midgets and therefore Bridget would win her class, however that transpired to be slightly inaccurate. We had to drive three times around a track marked out with traffic cones (all the same colour) each lap taking a slightly different route, and this was against the clock. We made four attempts and our best time was 49 seconds. Needless to say we were not the fastest, but neither were we the slowest. The whole thing was great fun and we will certainly do some more of these events, but where the track doesn’t favour left-hand drive cars!!

When we got back to Peter’s house I decided to check the spark plugs as I felt they must have been somewhat abused during the past few weeks with all the misfiring even though they had been replace only 6,000 miles earlier. We found that the gap on one of the plugs was almost non-existent and I choose to replace them all. The next morning we took Bridget to get replacement tyres and she ran without any hesitation or misfire whatsoever, so hopefully that is no longer an issue.

A local dealer fitted four new tyres replacing three that were on the edge of legality and one that was more than three quarters worn. Three of the five tyres I had were originally on the car when I bought her and had driven over 48,000 miles.

We said our farewells to Peter and Anne, and the others that we had so briefly met in Vancouver, and set course for Kelowna. We left at mid-day and the temperature was in the mid seventies. The road was smooth and Bridget was running really well. We will spend the next few days in the Rockie Mountains, the last of the four major mountain ranges in the world that I had yet to see. I had been told that Kelowna was the jumping off point and that there was nothing much too see on the drive there. However I found the scenery beautiful with huge tree covered mountains interspersed with bare rocky mountains and occasional lakes. The trees are mainly spruce and some appear precariously perched on the rocky faces of the mountains will little soil in which to put down roots.

We arrived at our destination at five o’clock and checked into a hotel. Kelowna is a tourist resort on the banks of a Okanagan lake. It appears lively and still very busy even though school holidays are over. It is the starting point of my Rocky Mountain adventure.

My first impressions of Canada are overwhelmingly focused on the people who are not only warm, friendly, and hospitable but also very law abiding. The only other nation I can think of similar to them are the Swiss. With regards to traffic they rarely speed, are patient, courteous, obey traffic signals and give way to queue jumpers, pedestrians and MG’s.

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